Sunday, 30 October 2016
Book Review - Two Minds - Matt Shaw & Sam West
I received an ARC Copy of this book from the authors.
Right, so I'm well versed in the work of Matt Shaw, although Sam West is an author I'm aware of, I have never read. So when a trademark black cover book gets announced by Shaw, I'm usually in an expectant frame of mind as what to expect, only this was different, or so I thought.
The book starts off very unassumingly as two strangers - Sally and Jack meet in a bar. Their conversation moves along tentatively with the characters being written in first person perspective by each author. West takes on the roll of Sally while Shaw takes Jack. The whole story is written with each author taking on a small section story and sending it backwards and forwards to the other.
As the story starts, you find yourself asking where is this going? The conversation between our two characters starts off innocently enough, you find it almost as if the authors are teasing the reader with what is going to happen, maybe they were finding their own way. As the story begins to unfold, we begin to learn of the deep flaws within both of these characters. Both of these people are looking for something, yet neither author is willing to give the game away... Yet. The whole opening scene is a deliciously woven thread of tension.
So after the initial scene, the book moves on to somewhere much more sinister. This is where the extreme nature of these guys really begins to pan out. People who have read the Peter Chronicles by Shaw may be familiar with the type of relationship that develops between the two. The style of writing between both authors works extremely well and both compliment the other.
About half way through, the book really takes a nastier turn as scenes are introduced which may leave you wincing and quite possible retching. Consider yourself warned, this is not for the faint-hearted or for anyone that doesn't like their horror realistic, and splattered with sex and violence.
Its difficult to sum this up because I don't want to give any spoilers. You find it difficult to sympathise with either of the characters as you are thrown into a zig-zag of emotions as you think you are getting to grips with them, and then a massive curve ball is thrown in for good measure. Just when you think its gone about as far as it can go, something else happens and it goes even further. That being said, Its not gore porn, there is a solid story line - albeit dark and very twisted, its there.
I have to give a warning, within a fairly short book, these guys have created a story that is likely to get under your skin and remain with you for a while. The characters are basically vile - the worst type of people imaginable, and they are totally unashamed. If horror at the most extreme end of the spectrum is your thing, go check this out. It may even shock the most hardened of reader. If you're not, I would steer well clear. This one is likely to make you cry.
My rating - a very sick and twisted 5/5